History Podcasts

Monadnock ScStr - History

Monadnock ScStr - History

Monadnock
(ScStr: dp. 3,400; 1. 258'6"; b. 52'9", dr. 12'8", s. 9 k. cpl. 150 ( approx. ); a. 4 15" D.sb.; cl Miantonomoh )

The first Monadnock, a twin-screw, wooden-hull, double turreted, iron-clad monitor, was laid down at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass., in 1862; launched 23 March 1863; and commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard 4 October 1864, Capt. John M. Berrien in command.

The only monitor of the class to see action during the Civil War Monadnock steamed to Norfolk, Va., and there Comdr. Enoch G. Parrott took command 20 November 1864. On 13 December she departed Norfolk for the assault against Fort Fisher. She joined Rear Adm. D. Porter's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron on the 15th and 4 days later departed Beaufort, N.C., to join the Federal Fleet massed to attack Confederate defenses on the Cape Fear River. On the morning of Christmas Eve she closed the entrance of the river, guarded by Fort Fisher. At less than 1,200 yards from shore she began bombarding the fort)flcation and continued throughout the day. The following morning she resumed shelling as 2,000 Union troops under the command of the controversial Gen. Benjamin F. Butler landed north of the fort. However, after coming close to the fort, the troops were pulled back and reembarked in the landing boats.

The attack was renewed 13 January 1865. Through the 15th, Monadnock again shelled the fort's defenses, disabling many of the guns. Firing continued until the last gun on the sea face was silenced, well after the troops, under Major General Terry, and sailors and Marines had launched their final and successful assault. During the action, perhaps the largest amphibious operation in American history, prior to world War II, Monadnock was struck five times.

Having aided in the closing of the port of Wilmington the South's last important link in the overseas supply lifeline, Monadnock turned toward Charleston She crossed over the Bar on the 20th, after its evacuation by Confederate troops. On the 19th February, while still in the Charleston area, she sent a volunteer crew to take possession of blockade runner Deer.

After a stay at Port Royal, she returned to Hampton Roads 15 March. On 2 April, she steamed up the James River to support the final assault on Richmond and then assisted in clearing the river of torpedoes to allow safe passage to the fallen Confederate capitol. Returning to Hampton Roads 7 April, she sailed out into the Atlantic on the 17th, en route to Havana. where she kept watch over CSS Stonewall. Back at Norfolk by 12 June, she entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard on the 20th to flt out for her cruise to the west coast.

Monadnocb departed Philadelphia 5 October; with Vanderbilt, Tu&corora, and Powatan. After stops at numerous South American ports, she transited the Straits of Magellan and continued on to San Francisco, anchoring off that city 21 June 1866. On 26 June she proceeded to ValleJo and entered the Mare Island Navy Yard where she decommissioned 30 June.


Monadnock ScStr - History

200 Years of American Papermaking

Explore the long and rich story of Monadnock Paper Mills.

Scroll through Our History

Shortly after the War of 1812, Paper Mill opens on the banks of the Contoocook River in Bennington, New Hampshire

The introduction of wood pulp to the paper manufacturing process. Fourdrinier papermaking machines installed at the Bennington Paper Mills where writing and blank book papers are produced

Due to a shortage of linen rags, a pulp mill is built on the property

The railroad extends its routes to Bennington, and new machinery is purchased considerably increasing the capacity of the mills

Paper Mill renamed Monadnock Paper Mills (Monadnock) for region’s most prominent mountain.

Monadnock (m’ NAD nok): High point, one who stands alone [Algonquin] portending a legacy of excellence and commitment to the environment.

Monadnock begins using renewable energy by powering the plant using the Contoocook River.

Colonel Pierce purchases Monadnock Paper Mills, constructs a new brick mill building, and greatly expands production capacity.

Monadnock acquires ownership of hydro facilities and dams, at that time supplying enough energy to run the mill and serve as backup for the town’s electrical power supply

Gilbert Verney purchases Monadnock Paper Mills and begins manufacturing specialty papers

Quality offset and opaque papers are developed and refined using modernized stock preparation processes for consistency and uniformity

Monadnock installs package boilers for steam production

Premium text and cover grades augment Monadnock’s product mix

Monadnock donates 30 acres of land for conservation as a WWII memorial park

Technical specialty and converting papers are developed. First non-integrated mill to install beta-scanning gauges

Ecology Flag first flown at Monadnock Paper Mills

The Mill’s wastewater treatment facility begins operation improving the water quality of the Contoocook River

Enhanced process control systems are installed improving quality and increasing production

Monadnock installs off-machine coating equipment for aqueous dispersion coatings, including coatings for offset, gravure and flexo, as well as adhesive, barrier, and non-skid coatings

Number One paper machine capacity is increased via installation of a sectional electric drive

Monadnock develops and begins using new groundwater well to reduce burden on the river

Cross machine computer controls are installed on both machines to improve paper consistency. We are America’s oldest continuously operating paper mill

Powder Mill Pond, the holding basin for Monadnock’s hydroelectric power, is designated as a sport fish & wildlife site

Monadnock becomes ISO 9001 certified

Monadnock acquires a nonwoven melt blown manufacturing facility, expanding capabilities to include air and liquid filtration

Monadnock receives the first Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention. Assists in designation of the Contoocook River under the NH Rivers Protection program

Monadnock announces PC 100, setting the standard for premium 100 percent recycled content printing paper

Monadnock reduces fresh water consumption by half over the past 10 years

Monadnock becomes Sustainable Forests Initiative program participant

Monadnock recycles 100 percent of short paper fiber waste as compost for agriculture

Monadnock becomes EPA WasteWise Partner

Monadnock Non-Wovens opens new facility in Mount Pocono adding significant operating space and room for extra calendaring processes

Monadnock installs steam turbine generator producing energy from excess steam

Monadnock gains FSC certification, increases internal recycling rate by 70 percent, begins development of Environmental Management System

Monadnock commits to Energy Star “Change a Light, Change the World” program

Monadnock attains ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System, wins Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention, becomes an EPA Performance Track company

Monadnock Non-Wovens installs third meltblown machine doubling capacity, installs rail spur and siding with resin conveying system removing the equivalent of 50 trucks per year off local roads, saving energy and improving the environment

Monadnock introduces Envi Portfolio of products, becomes Green-e certified and an EPA Green Power Leader, all graphic arts and packaging papers now made carbon neutral using 100 percent renewable electricity

Monadnock Non-Wovens earns site specific ISO 9001 certification

Monadnock awarded New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility Cornerstone Award and Business NH Magazine Lean & Green Award

Monadnock Non-Wovens starts installation of fourth meltblown machine and major factory expansion

Monadnock becomes State of NH Green Leader, receives commendation from Governor for commitment to renewable energy

Monadnock Non-Wovens extends range of surgical face mask media to support global efforts to control Swine Flu and H1N1 Flu

Monadnock becomes EPA SmartWay Transport Partner

Monadnock Non-Wovens issues comprehensive media validation guide, completes 3-year facility expansion and output capacity supplies media for sorbent media to help control oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico

Monadnock creates Envi Card Stock – a fiber-based alternative to PVC gift cards

Monadnock produces first Sustainability Progress Report Monadnock’s entire product portfolio is now manufactured Carbon Neutral using 100 percent Renewable Electricity – a significant increase in investment in renewable electricity and carbon emission reduction

Monadnock receives Environmental Business Council of New England John A.S. McGlennon Environmental-Energy Award for Corporate Leadership

Monadnock receives Manufacturing Leadership “Sustainability Leadership Award” for Envi Card Innovation

Monadnock Publishes the fourth edition of it’s renown Field Guide for Eco-Friendly, Efficient and Effective Print.

Monadnock Awarded the 2017 FSC Leadership Award for its commitment to responsible forestry.

The entire Monadnock family celebrates this important milestone. Here’s to the next 200 years.

Introducing Astrolite PC 100 Velvet C2S.


History of the Ark

“Joe Cutter’s built himself an ark!” was the good-natured banter of the towns people in Jaffrey back in the summer of 1808, and it was worth the trip out to the foot of Mount Monadnock to see the farmhouse whose measurements were bigger than the town meeting house!

Raised as a farmhouse, “The Ark” offered hospitality as an “early American Inn” for nearly one hundred years. Today, owned by the Monadnock Christian Conference Center, Inc. the property comprises over one hundred acres at an elevation of 1180 feet above sea level.

The land had been “Cutter property” ever since Joe Cutter’s father, Joe Cutter Sr., ventured into Jaffrey scarcely more than a decade after the first permanent settler. He and his wife built a homestead and raised ten children between 1777 and 1793, all the while buying more and more land around the base of the mountain and clearing it for pasturage. As the largest land owner in town, he paid a fifteen dollar tax!

In 1804, Joseph Cutter Sr. divided his farm amongst his sons and moved to town for the more spirited life of a taverner. On land one hundred feet south west of the original Cutter homestead, Joe Jr. Raised his own farmhouse, commodious by the standards of any day. Actually, only twelve rooms were completed at first on the South end of the house. The North end was devoted to wood and wagon sheds. Overhead was an enormous “open chamber”.

It is said that the month-old nephew of Joseph Cutter was carried to the ridgepole when the sturdy frame of “The Ark” was raised – a ceremony that allegedly brought good luck to the house and good fortune to the baby.

Six children were born to Joseph and Phoebe (Gage) Cutter at “The Ark”. All but one grew to adulthood, but none remained to carry on the farm. In 1873, the place was put up for auction.

Joel Hobart Poole, a grandnephew of Joseph Cutter Jr., bought the house and 100 acres of land for $1500. He and Mrs. Poole, gradually restored the farmhouse, which by then, had been vacant for a number of years and neglected.

In 1874, Dr. and Mrs. William P. Wesselhoeft of Boston, delighted by the place and it’s location, asked to rent part of the house for the summer. It is said that Mr. Poole named an exorbitant price in hopes of driving them away. His terms were accepted, however, and for the next six seasons the Wesselhoefts occupied the easterly side of the house and also had two guest cottages built. Within ten years, the Pooles had summer boarders. Despite the protests of the Pooles, “The Ark” had become a business!

Poole’s son, Arthur, was later taken into partnership. Accommodations expanded in 1895 when the annex (now the Carlson Manor) was built close by. Arthur E. Poole died in 1912, and after the death of the elder in 1926, Charles Bacon, a member of the operating staff of “The Ark” for twenty years, became manager for Mrs. Poole. At the time it cost guest twenty-five cents to take a bath in “The Ark’s” one bathtub. The key to the bathroom hung with the bunch of household keys at Mrs. Poole’s waist.

In the spring of 1929, “The Ark” and it’s farm were sold to Charles Bacon. He added seven rooms in the big third floor attic and modernized the cottages. Renovations made at that time were done by the father and grandfather of the girl that Bacon’s son, Charles Jr., would one day marry and bring to “The Ark” to live.

Charles Bacon, Sr. died suddenly from appendicitis in 1932 and his wife Hattie continued business until 1948. Charles Bacon, Jr. and his wife Virginia were the owners from 1950 to 1965.

From 1873 until 1953, “The Ark” was opened to guests 365 days a year. The Bacons however did not follow quite as rigid a schedule, although for many years they operated full time from June to Mid-October. During winter weekends and school vacations “The Ark’s” cheery red doors were swung open for skiing and skating parties. Maple sugar parties in “The Ark’s” own sugar house were an annual treat.

The Monadnock Christian Conference Center, incorporated in 1965 is a camp, conference, and retreat center. MCCCI is a non-profit, non-denominational, religious, and charitable, independent corporation.

Over the past century, the historic homestead has offered good fellowship, comfort, and relaxation midst recreational facilities that old Joe Cutter would have never dreamed about in days when the road to “The Ark” was only a blazed trail leading to “Joe Cutter’s clearing.”


3 thoughts to &ldquoMonadRocks: Mount Monadnock’s Fascinating Geologic History&rdquo

Really really an interesting post and I thank you for doing so! It’s a beautiful treasure formed by a lot of tugging and pulling. I’ve seen those Turkey scratches and always assumed they were from crampons worn during the colder seasons. Silly me! Thanks again, Nell! Great job!

Thank you for this! Very informative (but who was around to name the continents at that time? lol) You left out a large part as to why Mt. Monadnock is openly bare at the top, exposing the rock foundation! I think the history of the burning kind of ‘tops off’ the geological processes. You should keep going with Monadnock’s story!

This was a very interesting report. It had a lot to say. When I think of all the different layers and Turkey tracks. Yes!


Help us document this moment in history: COVID-19 Archive Collection

Right now, we find ourselves in a unique historic moment as our communities, our nation, and the world are struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, we have collected a rich archive of materials that tell the stories of those who have gone before us. Now is the time to collect the materials that will tell today’s story- the story of our communities during this crisis.

We hope you will join us as a citizen-historian and help us to document this time. Future local historians will want to know the ways the pandemic impacts our region’s health and economy, how our children’s education changed, and the ways day-to-day life was altered by social distancing and the stay-at-home order.

In partnership with the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, the Monadnock Center is creating an archive of the COVID-19 crisis that will document the experiences of people in the Monadnock Region.

This collection of materials will be preserved for future generations at the Monadnock Center. In ten, fifty, or a hundred years, the people of the Monadnock Region will be able to hear our voices, learn the ways the community pulled together (while staying 6 feet apart!), experience our disappointments and triumphs, and see the ways we persevered.

The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript’s reporters and editors have been doing an amazing job reporting on the unfolding crisis. Photographs and news stories from their coverage will form part of the COVID-19 collection but we also need your first-person contributions!

What we are looking for:

  • Photographs
  • Writing (poetry, journal or diary entries, nonfiction story about an event or person related to the crisis, etc.)
  • Video

Get the family involved! Have your children photograph, write, draw, paint or make a video about their experience during this historic moment. If you are submitting a child’s work, please indicate that you are the child’s parent and let us know the child’s first name, age and town.

As a citizen-historian, you are not limited to a one-time submission. Feel free to submit as much or as often as you would like over the course of the pandemic.

Some submissions may be published in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. By submitting your materials to the COVID-19 archive collection, you are giving your permission for the Monadnock Center for History and Culture and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript to reproduce, publish and share the material.

Email your submissions to director@ null MonadnockCenter.org or send via US Mail to the Monadnock Center at P.O. Box 58, Peterborough, NH 03458. Be sure to include your full name, email or mailing address and a phone number with your submission. We must be able to document where submissions came from in order to include them in the collection.

Thank you in advance for your submissions!

Be well,
Michelle Stahl, Executive Director, Monadnock Center
Heather McKernan, Publisher, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Center Partners with Savron Graphics to offer COVID-19 Journals

When Rob Crowley of Savron Graphics in Jaffrey learned about the project to document the COVID crisis, he contacted the Monadnock Center with an idea to print journals for people to record their experiences. “We thought it would be interesting to have some documentation for future generations to know how people are dealing with staying at home and social distancing. We hope people will use these journals to create a snapshot in time through writing, drawing and other creative ways to record their experience, “said Rob.

Once the crisis is over, journals may be turned in and Savron graphics will digitize them. Digital copies will be made available to the town historical societies and the Monadnock Center to be preserved for the future. COVID-19 Journals will not be collected until after the stay-at-home order is lifted by the governor. The content of the journals will not be published in the newspaper.

These COVID-19 journals are free and have been distributed throughout the Contoocook Valley. Pick up a journal at the following locations: Savron Graphics in Jaffrey (32 Fitzgerald Drive, box located by outside office door), Peterborough Town Library (under the overhang adjacent to the rear entrance), Hancock Inn (on the porch), Delay’s Harvester Market in Greenfield (on the porch), and Dublin General Store (inside store, only available during store hours).

Please pick up your journal when you are out for essential activities like grocery shopping rather than making a special trip to get your journal.

The Monadnock Center thanks Savron Graphics and the Crowley family for bringing this idea to us and for printing the journals!


Monadnock Art/Friends of the Dublin Art Colony is volunteer only organization. It is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and 100 percent of all donations go towards the promotion of our artists and the running of the Annual Art Tour. Please consider becoming a member or making a donation to support Monadnock Art. This section will provide an ability to become a member or make a donation.


By Edie Clark

Copyright © Edie Clark 2008

The Dublin Art Colony, which was not called such until much more recently, began in the personage of one artist, Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921) who came to Dublin in 1888 and whose artistic passion, eccentricity and magnetic personality subsequently attracted such a constellation of artists that the term came into being as a matter of convenience, nearly one hundred years later, in an effort to celebrate the deep artistic heritage of this small New Hampshire village. This whirl of artistic activity lasted for about sixty years, though many of the artists’ descendants still reside in the area. The Friends of the Dublin Art Colony was founded in 1995 by a group of enthusiastic residents who not only wanted to celebrate this heritage but also to acknowledge the ongoing creative force that continues to exist in Dublin and in the surrounding towns. In 2007, the group changed its name to Monadnock Art / Friends of the Dublin Art Colony. The mission of this group is to celebrate the past as well as the future of the work of the many artists who currently live and work in the shadow of the small but powerful Mount Monadnock.

At the end of the 19th century, Dublin was not the typical New Hampshire farm community. To the contrary, there was great natural beauty which had originally been put on the map by such luminaries as Thoreau and Emerson, who both made pilgrimages to Dublin and wrote of its magical quality. Dublin had the mystical Mount Monadnock as a backdrop and its lake, once known as Monadnock Lake and now known as Dublin Lake, reflected the mountain’s iconic profile. Many wealthy summer residents, prominent in government and business, lived in grand, elegantly designed summer homes hidden discreetly around the lake.

Abbott Thayer was the son of a horse-and-buggy doctor in Keene, New Hampshire. Thayer was an Emersonian Transcendentalist and originally came to Dublin at the behest of Mary Amory Greene, a Dublin summer resident and one of his more ardent admirers. Greene, step-daughter of Mrs. John Singleton Copley Greene, was herself a wealthy philanthropist who took art classes from Thayer. The story goes that her affection for Thayer and his work reached such a point that, tired of taking the train from Harrisville to Keene, she built him a summer house – below Monadnock and above Dublin Lake – so he would be closer to her.

Richard Meryman, Jr., the son of the Dublin artist of the same name, has described Thayer as “a needy genius, catnip to the protective instincts of some women.” As well, he says, he was “an Olympic class eccentric.” No doubt. He moved his wife and children into the uninsulated summer house that Mary Greene built for him and took up year-round residence. In the era of tuberculosis, Thayer believed in the healing power of fresh air. Summer and winter, he and his family slept outdoors in lean-to’s which were open to the elements on one side. During the cold months, they wrapped in bearskins and claimed no discomfort.

Above all, he was a mesmerizing teacher who attracted artists of all kinds to Dublin where they sat at his feet and became swept up in his passions. He believed his art was “dictation from God.” His mission was perfect beauty and Mount Monadnock was totem. Aside from his powerful, mystical paintings of angels and the mountain, Thayer is well-known as the designer of camouflage, now used by virtually every soldier on earth, and as the first conservationist. His foresighted and strident efforts to save Mount Monadnock from development started a movement that has succeeded in creating a mountain free of lights at night, cell towers or any structure whatsoever within a goodly distance of its circumference. For that alone, he should be celebrated, however, it is for his art and his force-of-nature personality for which he is best remembered.

Many of the artists that comprise the group of artists who congregated in Dublin at that time came there either to study with Thayer or to be with him. George de Forest Brush (1855-1941) met Thayer at the National Academy of Design in New York City and they connected again in Paris. A friendship grew that led Brush to Dublin, in 1898, where he eventually settled and worked for the rest of his life, dying there in 1941. Brush, remembered as a warm, gentle and theatrical man, spent time in the 1880s in the American West, painting Indians on their reservations. This imbued him with lifelong sympathy and compassion for these native Americans. In his later years, he worked mostly in portraits. His work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, the MFA in Boston and at the Freer in Washington D.C., where Abbott Thayer’s work is on display as well.

Others of Thayer’s disciples included Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951), one of the great American Impressionists. Before moving on to the New Hampshire seacoast where he painted mostly outdoors, landscapes and marines, Benson spent four or five summers in Dublin, working under Thayer’s influence, painting ethereal, idealized portraits of women. He also painted the mountain and the lake. Muralist and painter Barry Faulkner (1881-1966), a cousin of Abbott Thayer’s, also grew up in Keene but had to go to New York to study under Thayer, who was more than thirty years his senior. He also studied there under George de Forest Brush so these strong ties to Dublin eventually led him there. His studies in Italy brought him his first mural commission which began his distinguished career. His mosaic murals enhance such buildings as the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center, the John Hancock Building in Boston, the National Archives in Washington D.C. as well as several state capitol buildings.

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was an apprentice to Thayer for two summers, 1903 and 1904. Kent went on to paint wild landscapes at the ends of the earth – Greenland and Tierra del Fuego – and is associated with the artists of Monhegan as well as other art communities. He never resided in Dublin but he returned often to visit Thayer. One of Kent’s best known paintings, of the mountain and a shadowed Dublin Lake, is in the permanent collection at Smith College. A socialist and member of the Communist Party, Kent was sufficiently outraged by the way he was treated during the McCarthy investigations that he donated a large portion of his art “to the people of the Soviet Union” where much of it is now on display at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Until recently, these paintings were not available for viewing.

Another who came to the mountain and stayed was Richard Meryman (1882-1963). A native of Chelsea, Massachusetts, Meryman, who had studied under Frank W. Benson and Edmond C. Tarbell at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, came to Dublin in 1906 to work as a copyist for Thayer. Since Thayer believed his work to be God-given passages, he feared his own meddling and therefore employed copyists like Meryman to preserve the work at certain points. He used these copies to accelerate the work. He feared that God might abandon him at any moment and then the painting would be spoiled. So Meryman and others (including Alexander James) were there, essentially, to save Thayer from himself. Eventually gaining stature on his own as a landscape and portrait artist, Meryman became a part of Thayer’s inner circle and, in 1935, settled in Dublin, where his family still maintains the home Meryman bought at auction in 1924 for back taxes. His impressionistic renditions of the mountain are highly collectible, as are his portraits, many of them commissioned by summer residents.

Alexander James (1890-1946) was a student not only of Thayer’s and but also of Frank Benson. James was born in Cambridge into an intellectually rich heritage: his father was William James, the Harvard philosopher and his uncle was Henry James, the novelist. In spite of this heavy intellectual background, Alec, as he was known, was more inclined toward art, which, after some consternation in the family, he was allowed to pursue. He first came to Dublin at the age of 17 to study under Thayer and for seven years, he divided his time between Boston and Dublin. His early work as a portrait artist caught the attention of John Singer Sargent who became a lifelong friend. James did some landscapes but he put most of his energy into portraits. In 1919, James moved with his growing family to Dublin. But there was really to be no “home” for Alec as he left his family frequently, or took them with him, as the case required, to such diverse landscapes as California, France, and the apparently very alluring Richmond, New Hampshire, just twenty-three miles from Dublin but very far in the character of its people, whose faces he committed to canvas in abundance. In Richmond, he bought an old farm in the so-called Polecat district and went there to live, without his family. Some say it was here he was happiest. In spite of, or perhaps because of, his elite upbringing, James was drawn to the faces of the common man and delighted in their presence around him. He returned to Dublin and had a studio constructed behind their big brick house in Dublin. The studio was completed in October and James died the following February. On the day of Alexander James’ funeral, all work was suspended in Dublin, the stores closed. Crowds came from all over to attend the service at the Dublin church. Those who could not get into the church, stood outside in the snow.

Like Thayer, Alexander James also attracted students and nurtured their careers. He met the Russian artist Gouri Ivanov-Rinov (1902-1966), who came to study with James and eventually built a house of rammed earth on a piece of property in Dublin that was given to him by the James family. He lived there with his wife Muriel for the rest of his life. He painted religious icons as skillfully as he painted landscapes, some of them local, some from other locales. Onni Saari (1920-1992), the son of the gardener at the MacVeagh estate in Dublin, caught James’ attention as well as Barry Faulkner’s and the two of them sponsored an art show for Saari when he was 18. He went on to New York where he spent his career, mostly as a graphic artist, producing book jackets and covers for LPs. At his death, Saari left hundreds of canvases, which he had kept hoarded in his mother’s barn in Harrisville, none of which he felt were good enough to sell. However, strong sales at a show staged in Harrisville after his death proved him wrong.

A strong bond was formed between James and Albert Quigley (1891-1961) who lived in neighboring Nelson. Theirs was a long friendship of mutual admiration. Ostensibly, Quigley made frames for James’ portraits. His frames were highly desired. But Quigley was also a wonderful painter in his own right. Like the good folks of Richmond, Quigley was of the earth and not to the manor born. He lived right off the Nelson town green in a tumble-down house where he raised his family, clearing off the kitchen table in order to paint and trading his paintings for groceries and odd jobs that he needed done. He painted portraits and landscapes, evocative of the Depression, a time when the New England landscape showed its bones. The multi-talented Quig, as he was known, was also a well-known fiddler and played Monday nights for the Nelson dances.

Like Thayer, Joseph Lindon Smith (1863-1950) came to Dublin as a result of a gift of land from Mrs. John Singleton Copley Greene. The land, known as Loon Point, was given to his parents and this point of land, which juts out into Dublin Lake, became a kind of stage on which Joseph Lindon Smith played out his fantasies, staging pageants and hosting parties. Smith was a landscape and portrait artist who, in his early years, was a scout who traveled Europe for Isabella Stewart Gardner, buying art for her now-famous museum collection. On a chance trip to Egypt, he discovered what would become his life work: copying hundreds of Egyptian wall paintings. At a time when photographic reproduction was not possible, Smith’s paintings became the only way these ancient treasures could be viewed by a wider audience. He often went inside the tombs just after they had been opened, when the colors were vivid, not yet faded by the outside elements. Smith gained an international reputation painting copies of the interiors of the tombs and temples of Egypt, a solitary, exacting task. But at home, he revealed a great sense of fun and a love of children that was borne out in the pageants he staged at his lakeside “Teatro Bambino,” where elaborate plays were acted by children and adults throughout the summer. At Loon Point, he built what became known as “the Big House,” a vast, tall structure, something like an Italian villa, lush with gardens and statuary. On the “Chinese Porch,” which stretched near the water, celebrities such as poet Amy Lowell, Mark Twain, Amelia Earhart, novelist John P. Marquand, artist John Singer Sargent and a host of others, including, of course, the core group of Dublin artists, gathered for evening galas.

While these vestiges of the Gilded Age were played out on one side of Dublin, another artist was at work on the far side of town, a section of town that eventually (and perhaps symbolically) seceded from Dublin to become Harrisville. William Preston Phelps (1848-1923), whose lifespan was nearly exactly the same as Abbott Thayer’s, was born in the house where his family had farmed since the 1700s. The Dublin farm, with its unobstructed view of Mount Monadnock, was poor but proud. As a boy, Preston, as he was known by family and friends, loved the animals and the hills all around the farm. He especially loved the mountain. As a young man, he showed artistic talent and so, at the age of 14, he was sent away to earn a wage, to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he was apprenticed to a sign painter. There his art grew from elaborate and meticulous signage – scrollwork and elliptical scenes painted on carriage doors – to local landscapes which he leaned in the store windows for sale. Local businessmen, recognizing his talent, pooled money to send him to Europe to study. From there, his art and his reputation spread. He studied with several masters and then traveled throughout Europe with his friend Willard Metcalf. He eventually returned to the family farm in Dublin (which by then had become Chesham). Though he had traveled widely and is said to have been the first to ever paint the Grand Canyon, Phelps’ heart lay with the mountain. In his last twenty-five years, he painted the mountain from every aspect. However, after the death, first of his son and then of his wife, he lost the farm to debt and all of his paintings were auctioned off on a sultry August day in 1921. A despondent Phelps was committed to the state hospital in Concord, where he died in 1923. His paintings have been exhibited widely and are in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, as well as museums in Lowell and throughout New Hampshire.

While students came from far and near to study with Phelps, just as they came to study with Thayer, there is no evidence that Phelps and Thayer ever met. Living only two or three miles apart and working as they were in apposition to each other, they surely must have been aware of each other if not perhaps in silent conversation over their views of art. The works of William Preston Phelps are of cows in the field, pigs in the barnyard, horses shank-deep in mud at the sugar house, all the many gritty scenes of a working farm, as well as his nearly obsessive treatments of the mountain whose power lay claim to both men. Thayer’s ethereal angels and the representations of the mountain that make it seem larger than life are in sharp contrast, as are the lives and works of the exuberant group of diverse artists who congregated around Thayer in Dublin. The existence of all of them together at this seminal time in the history of this small New Hampshire town is strong evidence that more than just an interest in art was in the air. The mystical beauty and magnetic pull of the area, first recognized by Emerson and Thoreau, must have been at work then and remains to this day, as new artists continue to flourish in the shadow of this strangely renowned and much beloved mountain.


After World War II

After W.W. II, thousands of returning G.I.'s caused somewhat of a real estate boom. At that time there was no regulation or standardization of the industry. Registration as a real estate salesperson was voluntary through the state insurance department.

Erle Bishop of Peterborough felt a need to stabilize our business, establish qualifications, and form rules and regulations. So through Erle, a local board was created and approved by the state and national associations September 29, 1949. The Monadnock Region Board of Realtors charter members were:

Erle Bishop — Peterborough
Sheldon Barker — Munsonville
Valentine Weston — Keene (deceased)
Cleon Heald — Keene
Milton Isreo — Troy (deceased)
David Barry — Wilton (deceased)
Frank Bennett — Keene (deceased)
Clifford Reynolds — Swanzey (deceased)
Charles Tarbox — Keene

Erle Bishop was the first president and served for three years. There were regular monthly meetings. Membership was only open to a select few. Church activities, character, ethics, and length of business experience were major membership considerations. Commission rates were regulated then. 5% was the fee with 10% for everything more than 15 miles out.

In 1950 it was decided that a secretary was needed. Clifford Reynolds filled this job until he became ill. Then Aileen Zeifle, the second women admitted to board membership, took over and was reelected to the position twice more.

In 1953 members agreed to abide by a code of ethics. Cleon Heald the second president of the board was denied membership initially because he was not full time and because he worked out of a barbershop. Our requirements now are much.

Under Charlie Tarbox's administration the Board developed and adopted standardized listing forms and sales agreements with legal assistance. In 1955 the Board wrote to the state recommending part time realtors be accepted for membership. They also wanted an executive director that would do promotional wok on behalf of the Realtors in the areas of public relations and pending legislation. Charlie Tarbox was instrumental in originating the real estate license law.

By 1956 we had 26 new members and one honorary. Ventine Weston was president then. The National Association of Real Estate Boards offered a standardized membership form and at the bottom it said,"Every honest and capable real estate broker should be a Realtor." A letter was sent to all those using the term realtor that were not members of the board. Today, of course that term is copyrighted.

In 1957, Valentine Weston, Charlie Tarbox and John Peterson met for the radio show "Coffee at the Crystal" on WKNE for a discussion of the term Realtor with all its ramifications and social value.

In 1958 Sheldon Barker of Keene took over as president of the board. In 1959, during Mr. Barker's second term, Charlie Tarbox was President of the State. The first license law was signed by Governor Wesley Powell. You can all thank Charlie for the license test.

Walter Peterson was the local board president in 1960 as well as the state president. The Realtor of the Year Award was established and Erle Bishop was the first so honored both on a local and state level. 1960 was also the year Francis Ash became a charter member of the Women's Council of Realtors in New Hampshire.

During the 1963-64 term of Kenneth McParland, board membership philosophy began to change. All practicing real estate brokers were encouraged to belong to the associations, chiefly for the purpose of education.

During 65 and 66 when Edward MacLaughlin was president, the commission rates were raised from 5-6% after lots of consternation and discussion. In 1966, Francis Ash was ROTY. In 1967 Francis Ash became the first woman president of the Monadnock Region Board. She was the first Gold Star Banner Award recipient and membership increased by 10%.

Romeo Papile took over the reins in 1969 and passed them on to Ruth Moller of Hancock in 1970.

Under Louette Johnson's administration in 1973 and 1974, National set up the Realtor-Associate membership.

In 1975, Armand Paquette was Realtor of the Year both local and State. Our name became the Monadnock Region Board of Realtors, Incorporated.

We had 140 members. 83 Active — 46 Associates and 11 honorary.

In 1976 Members residing in the Peterborough area broke away and formed the Contoocook Valley Board of Realtors.

In 1977, Whalen (Red) Dunn was the President of the Board. Louette Johnson was Realtor of the Year for the third time — the only person so honored. George Blais was our leader in 1978. Ralph Johnson was Realtor of the Year on both the state and local level — the fourth person from our area. We had 99 members and the push was started for a multiple listing service.

MLS became a reality during Hermans term in office. Ralph Johnson became state president. The first from the Monadnock Board since Charlie Tarbox in 1959.

We formed an MLS Association with the Vermont MLS in 1980.

Dave Brown was our 19th President and our 1981 Realtor of the Year.

As of April of this year we had 94 Realtors, 47 Realtor Associates, 12 Assessments, and 10 Honorary members.

Your history is usually available at our regular meetings, encourage you to participate and make a little history yourself.


Culture, Heritage, and Arts in the Mondadnock New Hampshire Region

Come for the canoeing and stay for the culture! A passion for creative living sets the Monadnock Region apart, and that is why the area’s vibrant arts scene is renowned throughout the country.

Visitors are drawn to this place because they can immerse themselves in the arts, which are regarded as not only valuable but vital here. The Monadnock Region thrives on fine arts, festivals, and other expressions of creativity. Whether you are looking for a singular piece of art to take home, a night of exceptional tunes, or a full festival experience, this is where you will find it.

The Monadnock Region is well-known for its impressive number of artists per capita, from plein air painters to trailblazing sculptors and bookmakers. Creative individuals also come from all over the world to seek inspiration at Peterborough, New Hampshire’s famous MacDowell Art Colony, which has been a haven for artists for more than a century.

For travelers who appreciate the arts, there are dozens of galleries and museums to explore across the region. During certain times each year, you can even get an intimate glimpse of how area artists craft their pieces when they open their studio doors for tours.

You can also embrace the creative energy yourself by trying your hand at glassblowing, attending a writers’ workshop, or taking the stage at an open mic night. There are countless opportunities to connect with other artists and relish new creative experiences.

Enjoy a round of traditional Irish jigs at the local pub or watch a troupe of players interpret Shakespeare’s classic tales with Mount Monadnock as a backdrop. Live performances of all shapes and sizes take place throughout the year, outdoors and under tents in the warmer months and within the cozy confines of historic theaters, inns, and taverns once the first snow flies.

Seasonal events mark the rhythm of the region with magnificent fireworks displays in summer and pumpkin-themed festivities in fall. Time your trip just right, and you can participate in the area’s annual international film festival, hot air balloon festival, or vintage and antiques market days. With so many celebrations of arts and culture, any time of year is the perfect time to visit!


Bradford G. Blodget

Growing up in Worcester, Mass. in the 1950s, author Brad Blodget could often be found on his bicycle, trackside along the Boston and Maine Railroad watching trains. After graduating from the Worcester Public Schools, he received his BA, with a major in biology at Clark University and later earned an MS in wildlife biology at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in 1978. He moved on to a career with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, most of it as State Ornithologist, before retiring in 2002. Soon after that, released from his professional career, a long-suppressed passion for railroad history exploded. He acquired the train symbol nickname “WX-1” for his frequent research trips between Worcester, Keene, and Bellows Falls, Vt. Brad, is an active member of the Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society and the Railroad Locomotive and Historical Society and resides in Holden, Mass. His first book, Marium Foster’s Boston & Maine Railroad, appeared in 2011.